Summary of Study Session 7
In Study Session 7, you have learned that:
- Safe immunization is essential in order to have a successful immunization programme.
- Immunization safety should include everyone involved: the client, the health worker and the community as a whole.
- You should follow standard infection-control procedures, and the guidelines on vaccine preparation and the re-use of open multi-dose vials, to ensure that vaccines and immunizations are safe and effective.
- Most vaccine reactions are mild and should not prevent the child from being immunized again. Serious adverse events following immunization (AEFIs) are rare, and are often due to programme errors by health workers. They may also be due to anxiety about the pain of an injection, or they may be coincidental events or due to unknown causes.
- Children with a minor illness (e.g. low-grade fever, respiratory infection, diarrhoea) should still be immunized according to the routine EPI schedule. Manage their symptoms and reassure their parents.
- Absolute contraindications to immunization are convulsions or a severe acute allergic reaction soon after a previous dose, or existing neurological disease. Infants with symptomatic HIV/AIDS should not be given BCG or PCV10 vaccines.
- Serious AEFIs should be reported immediately. All AEFIs should be reported in monthly written surveillance reports.
- Immunization waste must be disposed of safely to ensure that there is no danger to the community. If an incinerator or protected hearth is not available locally, safe waste disposal can be achieved by container burning or open pit burning in a protected area, or (if there is no other alternative) burial in a sharps pit protected by a fence.
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7.6.3 Burying without burning
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Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 7